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KITUO TRAINS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ON REFUGEE LAWS AND PROTECTION IN KAJIADO COUNTY

KITUO TRAINS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ON REFUGEE LAWS AND PROTECTION IN KAJIADO COUNTY
Kituo Cha Sheria with the support of partner organizations UNHCR, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS) conducted a two-day training of government officials in Kajiado on Refugee Laws and Protection. The activity was held on the 11th and 12th September, 2019 at Enchula Resort, Kajiado.
Participants at the training included police officers from Kitengela, Isinya, Kajiado, Mashuru and Namanga police stations as well as officials from the Kajiado Law Court comprising the registry, probation, prosecution and children’s departments, and prison warders from the Kitengela G.K. Prison. The training aimed mainly at enlightening the law enforcement and judicial officers on refugee protection and refugee laws in Kenya.
The training not only sought to build the capacity of the participants on refugees, asylum seekers rights and the legislative framework protecting them at national, regional and international level but also to sensitize the participants on matters refugees and asylum seekers, rights and obligations to the host country and how to handle matters relating to the special group of persons commonly referred to as persons of concern “POCs.’’
Participants were taken through several aspects touching on refugees and asylum seekers which included processes of the Refugee Affairs Secretariat, different documents held by asylum seekers and refugees and also understanding the process of refugee status determination.
Ms. Charity Wangui, a Legal Officer at Kituo Cha Sheria took the participants through the national framework on refugee law focusing mainly on the Refugee Act, 2006 and the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011. She also led discussions on the rights of refugees, with special attention being paid to special groups such as women, children, the disabled and the elderly. The civic duties of refugees were discussed as well as a brief discussion on the offences that can be committed solely by refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya and the penalties stipulated in the law.
There was also an open forum where the provisions of the Refugee Bill 2016 were discussed with a keen focus on the right of refugees to work, permanent citizenship of refugees through marriage, naturalization and right to own property among refugees.
Mr. Mark Nzano from the UNHCR took the participants through the various international and regional conventions relating to refugee rights and protection including provisions of the 1951 UN Convention Relating to Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol Convention Relating to Status of Refugees and the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa and 2006 Refugee Act in Kenya.
Kituo further used the event to develop and enhance rapport by creating a good relationship with court official, children’s officers, police and prison waders for future interventions and also created contacts with the participants for ease of intervention.
Participants thanked Kituo and partner organizations for the training and requested for follow up training on the same noting that it had led to an increased appreciation of the plight of refugees in the country as well as a better understanding of the law concerning refugees in Kenya.

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